Paleo Update

We’re in the home stretch of our 30 day Paleo diet and I have a few thoughts.

Fiber. It’s tough to get your daily fiber when there are no grains allowed (no oats, rice, corn, bran, etc). There is so much meat in this diet that you really have to make sure you’re getting lots of fiber and eating your sauerkraut. My digestion hasn’t been as good as usual this past week so we’re switching back to white meat and fish for a while.

Fruit. There isn’t any fruit in the meal plan that we’re following. We have oj every morning and I made some apple muffins (here’s the recipe) but that’s about it. I would usually have fruit and yogurt with breakfast or lunch, but since we’re not having dairy I don’t get those berries.

Weight. I don’t think I’ve lost a significant amount of weight but I do feel like my clothes are fitting better (i.e. not so snug around the middle). It was not my intention to lose any weight. Actually, it was never my intention to go on any sort of diet. But since I’m not a short-order cook, I won’t be cooking two separate meals for Bri and me. I’m not an expert, but I feel like cutting out the gluten is what really caused my body to change (maybe because I’ve been sneaking dairy 😉 but no cheese).

Sustainability. At first I didn’t feel like this was a sustainable way to live, especially traveling as much as we do. But it’s getting easier, it just took a little change in how I plan my meals. I used to automatically reach for oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, sandwiches and chips for lunch, and meat + veggie + something white for dinner. Here’s what a typical meal looked like:

IMG_0046Not nearly enough protein, especially when I would make a sandwich… unless you’re making mega-sandwich with about 2 inches of turkey meat. Here is what each of our meals look like now:

IMG_0048Not perfect; I definitely need more fruit and, in my opinion, dairy. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I need more protein at each meal. Protein is so important for blood sugar regulation (which also means for avoiding the grumpies). It’s amazing. I can go for hours without eating. No snacks. And I don’t even get hungry for lunch until after 12 or 1. Unheard of. Surprisingly I don’t miss cheese as much as I thought I would. I do miss salty goodies like scones (I know they’re not terribly salty, but they’re fluffy and buttery and now my stomach is growling) and chips and biscuits. So maybe it’s more sustainable than I thought. And if you’re on the Paleo diet and have any pointers on getting more fiber, please share.

Advertisements

Paleo Diet for Allergy Relief

As soon as we got home from our anniversary trip to Blowing Rock, B-money and I started the Paleo diet. If you haven’t heard of it, the Paleo diet is gluten, dairy, and processed foods-free. It’s based on the paleolithic diet — meats, eggs, and veggies that don’t require much work (i.e. no legumes that have to be soaked).

I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, so I got Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo ($9.99 on iBooks and Kindle, but I ended up buying the hard copy, too.) It is THE BEST book on this whole subject, in my opinion. The first half is incredibly informational and educational. The second half is filled with multiple 30-day meal plans and all of the coordinating recipes with notes on food exceptions for those avoiding FODMAPS, nightshades, nuts, etc. You can even find a grocery shopping list for each meal plan on their blog, Balanced Bites. (She has a chapter devoted to your digestion, including a pretty awesome Guide to Your Poop chart. Did you know you can test your “transit” time? Swallow 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds after a meal — watch your eliminations, you should see the bulk of them appear together. A healthy transit time is 18-24 hours. Sorry, is that gross?)

We had already been eating this way 2-3 meals per week, but I wanted to give it a try full time to see if it helps B-mucous and his allergies. (Sorry, is that gross?) Since moving back to NC, his seasonal and environmental allergies have been significantly worse, so much so that he had to get an inhaler.

The idea is that if gluten is attacking your small intestine and allowing food and other particles to leak into your blood stream and other innards (check out this article on Leaky Gut for a better explanation), it will trigger an autoimmune reaction, using 60-80% of your immune system. Essentially, most of your body’s autoimmune attackers are going to work in your gut because of your latest meal, leaving a small percentage of your immune system to fight the actual invaders like germs and allergens.

So. No gluten and no dairy for 30 days for us. No pasta, rice, quinoa, or oats of any sort. No milk chocolate, chocolate ice cream, Chickfila, tacos, granola bars, yogurt, oatmeal, or egg in a hole.

We’re on day 8. So far so good.

The hardest part for me has been figuring out what to eat for a snack. But to be honest, with this plan, I’m eating so much protein at every meal that I don’t usually need a snack. I could set my clock by my stomach rumbling every day at 3:55, signaling that if I didn’t get a snack soon, Grumpy Becca would be here in full force.

"Who's gonna be the grumpus?"

“Who’s gonna be the grumpus?”

I also didn’t realize two people could run the dishwasher so often. Since we’re cooking and eating every single meal at home, we’re using lots of pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. So if you hate cooking, this might not be the best plan for you. And yes, our grocery bill is higher, but we’re saving money by not eating out. Like, at all.

I know for some people, being gluten-free isn’t a choice like it has been for us. I’m sorry and I’ll pray for you. (I’m being sarcastic, it’s not that terrible, you just have to change how you think.) I think for others, it’s another diet to try to help you lose weight. I may have lost 2-3 pounds so far, but my weight fluctuates that much in a day. B-muscle thinks his cookie pooch is getting smaller. Of course he never had a cookie pooch (aka gut) to begin with, but he’s been working hard with Tony doing P90X again, so I’ll let him think that. (I said no thank you, I’ll stick to my slow jogs.)

But I don’t think this diet is sustainable for me. I think a bowl of oatmeal is healthy, especially when you make it yourself and add lots of goodies to it like berries and nut butters. I also think yogurt is incredibly good for me. My intestines need it.

Everything in moderation.

I must say, though, I never paid attention to how much gluten I was eating before. And really, it’s all just fillers. Bread, pasta, cereal, oats, crackers, chips, breading on your chicken. Imagine going just one week without any of that. You’d be forcing yourself to eat foods that are whole, straight from the earth or the animal, and not processed in a factory. (If it has to go through a factory to be made into food, it’s not food.)

I am looking forward to seeing my husband go for a hard run outside in the cold and not need an inhaler. I’m looking forward to not feeling those grumpies every afternoon. (As is my husband.) I’m also looking forward to trying new foods and adding new recipes to my list of go-to’s.

If you have any gluten-free and dairy free recipes that you love, please send them my way!

new kicks

Today’s run was a laid back 35 min: 5 blue, 25 green, 5 blue. It was the first time in a long time (maybe 2 weeks) that I felt good throughout. My legs weren’t heavy, my chest wasn’t tight, and I wasn’t fighting to breathe through the humidity.I did pretty well staying in my zones, only had to stop and walk once or twice just to keep my heart rate down as I went up hills. I probably could have gone longer, but I’ve been trying to stick to my scheduled time lengths and save up for my longer runs–tomorrow I have a 5 miler. The heart rate monitor wonked out on me at the beginning a bit (notice the big jumps in the blue) and as I was sticking my finger on my tongue and lifting my shirt to wet the receptor, a gentleman came running around the corner in time to see me remove my finger from my mouth and stick my hand up my shirt. Nice.

Now you know why I always run with sunglasses on. Eye contact would’ve only made that worse. Plus I think it makes me look pissed off so no one messes with me.

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s gonna be a doozie…

Yoinks! 80’s before 9:00 and 90’s before 11:00! I am not made for the heat, so that means I’m planning on being home from my run by 9:00 at the latest. And for those visual learners among us:

Yowzas. I will be staying indoors tomorrow staying hydrated. Speaking of which, yesterday I posted about some coconut water that I wasn’t a huge fan of. When I picked up that one to try, I also grabbed another bottle of red tea & coconut water.

This one I actually really liked! They had other colors of tea as well, but I avoid caffeine, so red tea was perfect and tasty with a blend of hibiscus and citrus flavors. I liked it so much I actually drank it pretty quickly. I’d definitely buy this again.

This evening B-money and I found ourselves at some outlet stores and I popped into Reebok. I’ve been trying to find a pair of cross trainers to wear when I’m exercising/lifting so that I’m not always having to wear my runners. I had seen some other bloggers’ reviews of Reebok’s shoes for CrossFit and thought I’d try some on.

These were the first ones I tried on and I fell in love. If only picking out my wedding dress had been this easy. They’re the Reebok Yourflex Women’s in gray/pink/orange.

Not the prettiest shot, I know, but I love them. I usually wear a size 6 in every-day shoes and a 7 in running shoes (since your feet flatten out as you follow through your stride). I wanted a pair slightly smaller than my runners so that my feet didn’t slide to the front while doing push-ups or other on-the-toes exercises.

These fit in the length and in the toe box (so my forefoot doesn’t slide side to side). They’re surprisingly light weight, breathable, have a moderate rise, and super cute colors. Plus, probably the best feature, they were less than $60.

I tried on some of the other zigs and “running” shoes, but these were the best. Love. Them.

I guess that means I need to start the next fitness program in miCoach since I finished Base Strength and Flexibility last week. And I guess I should go to bed since I have to run at the butt crack of dawn.

i don’t hate running anymore

I’ve been running a lot lately and have realized I no longer hate it. In fact, the longer I’m out running, the longer I want to run. A 30 minute run turned into a 50 minute run. Next thing you know, I finished 5 miles and felt good! Granted, I don’t run very fast or jump high, but I think God designed me to run longer distances. And I’m okay with that.

One of the main reasons I’ve loved running (besides being out in the sunshine!) is because of the help of Adidas’ miCoach app that I’ve been using. You select a plan that you want to do and just follow along, speeding up or slowing down when they say so, which allows me to zone out and just do what I’m told. The app is free (with the purchase of a smart phone) and you don’t have to buy anything else to have a productive workout. Heart rate sensors, stride rate monitors, and other add-ons are available, of course. But for the last 8 months or so I’ve run with just me, myself, and {my} iPhone. It uses your GPS to track your pace/speed and coaches you through your run based on that.

A few weeks ago B-money surprised me with the heart rate monitor (and a dongle that plugs into the base of my iPhone) and I’ve loved running with it. Coaching by pace zones is great until you encounter a hill. Heart rate-based coaching has made running the hills around here more manageable for me. It’s also funny when, hypothetically, a bird flies out of a bush beside you and startles you and you can see your heart rate jump a few beats per minute. And then you can flip the bird at the bird. Hypothetically.

Here’s what I especially like about miCoach:

There are so many plans! This is the Running Plans page, but there are so many others to choose from: sport-specific, de-stress, loose weight, etc.

Plans within the plans! In addition to coaching you as you run, they offer different workout plans to help you get lean, strengthen up, or run stronger.

It keeps track of EVERYTHING for you; routes you run, all of your stats for each individual run, any notes you take, shoes you used, calories burned, etc. I can look back to the very first day I downloaded the miCoach app.

It’s handy to be able to add your shoes to your run so you know when it’s time to replace them. I’ve run 119 miles since I got my New Balance shoes (last fall, don’t worry).

All of the previous screen shots have been from the website, this is from my  iPhone. If you’re as competitive as I am, you’ll love/hate this part of it. Today my score was 50%. Meh. (To toot my own horn, it’s usually between 80%-90%) Today’s run was a doozy with eight 25-second sprints. Anyway, even though it wasn’t best, they still offer encouragement.

Probably my favorite part, Reggie Bush is my coach. Every day when I press ‘start workout’ he says “Let’s do this.” And I get it done.

And here’s today’s run:

The blue zones = heart rate b/t 129-146 bpm. That means a quick walk or very slow/silly looking jog for me. The red zones = hr b/t 174-180 bpm. That means lean your head forward and run like a kid chasing an ice cream truck. I barely made it each of the 25 seconds I had to sprint. But I was impressed that my fastest time was a 5:39! It was downhill, but still.

Maybe you noticed, but the plan I’m doing is prepping for a half marathon. I think I’ve been too afraid to officially allow myself to think of myself as an athlete. And I’ve told myself only athletes can run half/full marathons. Ergo, not me. I haven’t officially signed up for a half… yet (my bff offered to run one with me…). But we’ll see. Why else would someone be doing this plan, though? 😉